When the news of the attack on Black churches first broke, Jack called Frank at his office. Frank was also watching the news unfold. He immediately said, “Jack, this is undoubtedly the work of the Professor. You can be sure more will follow. Unless his rug shop guy gets in touch with him, we will have a hard time finding him. Do you have anything from Lou Washington?”
“No. Not yet. I’ll call him as soon as we’re finished. Kathy and Kelly checked in. They are sitting on Hankins right now. It’s hard for two people to do a 24/7 surveillance.”
“I know, but I’m afraid of using more people. Kathy is one of the best I’ve ever seen. She won’t be tempted to be too aggressive, and she won’t make stupid mistakes. It’s also more than probable that Mr. Joel Hankins has no intention of recontacting the Professor. After the fire, he may have had enough. He’s more interested in killing young girls for the thrill than being a true Jihadist for a cause he probably doesn’t believe in. I’ll give him two more weeks and, if there’s no attempt to contact the Professor or al Qaeda, you can take him down. Tell Kathy she can put a beacon back on Hankins’ car. That should make it a bit easier to keep track of him.”
Jack knew the conversation was over when he heard the dial tone. Frank is consistent. His telephone manners hadn’t changed.
Kathy picked up on the first ring. She was also watching the breaking news of the attacks along Route 17 just south of where she was in Georgetown. The nearest burning church was just south of the Santee River within 20 minutes’ fast driving. Jack told her of his conversation with Frank.
She said, “Okay, only understand that sick bastard is not going to kill any more young girls as long as Kelly and I are sitting on him.”
“Just don’t jump the gun. The professor is still our number one target. And get Shadow and me a room. We’re coming up Saturday.”
“I hope that’s a promise. Kelly can do double duty for a day. She’s really doing well. I almost believe Anita is guiding her daughter. She was the best. See ya soon.”
Kathy put her iPhone in her pocket and went next door to tell Kelly what was going down. Frank suspected an al Qaeda high official called the Professor was the mastermind of all the recent terrorist activity, including the failed car bomb plan. Kelly asked, “What if the Professor comes tonight, while we’re resting in our motel?”
“Two reasons I don’t want him to come tonight and, with everything going down, the Professor is not going to come calling Mr. Hankins. We can’t cover him 24/7 by ourselves and, if we did, the target might make us or the Professor would for sure. Switching cars and clothes makes us harder to spot, but not impossible. If Hankins and the Professor make contact, it won’t be a one-time thing, unless the Professor kills him. I believe the emergency contact procedure is a personal ad in a local paper. That’s why I’ve been scanning them every day.”
“How will you know the ad, if you see it?”
“I’ll be able to smell it. The ad will be a little different in language. It will be innocuous and the phone numbers and addresses will be bogus. So, if I suspect an ad, we’ll have more work checking it out without spooking the bad guy.”
“Kathy, can anybody learn all this stuff?”
“Not everyone can. But I’m your teacher and Anita is your mother. You’ll pick it up. I’m counting on it. Remember, I didn’t teach that naked shooting stuff. If you had taken the time to grab some clothes, both of us could be dead now. Mission first.”